Articles/Essays From Pagans
March 4th. 2017 ...
Finding Balance: Discipline Wedded to Devotion
February 10th. 2017 ...
Understanding the Unseen
Kitchen Magic and Memories
January 10th. 2017 ...
The Gray of 'Tween
Becoming a Sacred Dancer
Little Dog, Big Love
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A Child's First Yule
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What Exactly Is Witchcraft?
A Witch in the Bible Belt: Questions are Opportunities
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Witchcraft from the Outside
September 11th. 2016 ...
Wild Mountain Woman: Landscape Goddess
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September 3rd. 2016 ...
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When Reality Rattles your Idea of the Perfect Witch
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July 13th. 2016 ...
What Every Pagan Should Know About Curses
Magic With A Flick of my Finger
An Open Mind and Heart
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June 13th. 2016 ...
Pollyanna Propaganda: The Distressing Trend of Victim-Blaming in Spirituality
Living a Magickal Life with Fibromyalgia
My Father, My First God
Life is Awesome... and the Flu
May 15th. 2016 ...
Faery Guided Journey
How to Bond with the Elements through Magick
Magical Household Cleaning
Working with the Elements
April 2nd. 2016 ...
Becoming Wiccan: What I Never Expected
An Alternative Conception of Divine Reciprocity
The Evolution of Thought Forms
The Fear of Witchcraft
Rebirth By Fire: A Love Letter to Mama Maui and Lady Pele
Magic in Sentences
Blowing Bubbles with the Goddess
March 28th. 2016 ...
Revisiting The Spiral
Lateral Transcendence: Toward Greater Compassion
Spring Has Sprung!
January 22nd. 2016 ...
Coming Out of the Broom Closet
Energy and Karma
Community and Perception
December 20th. 2015 ...
Introduction to Tarot For the Novice
Magia y Wicca
October 24th. 2015 ...
Facing Your Demons: The Shadow Self
The Dream Eater--A Practical Use of Summoning Talismans
Native American Spirituality Myopia
A Dream Message
Feeling the Pulse of Autumn
October 16th. 2015 ...
Sacred Lands, Sacred Hearts
September 30th. 2015 ...
September 16th. 2015 ...
Vegan or Vegetarian? The Ethical Debate
Nature Worship: or Seeing the Trees for the Ents
August 6th. 2015 ...
Lost - A Pagan Parent's Tale
July 9th. 2015 ...
Love Spells: The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly
The Magic of Weather
June 7th. 2015 ...
A Pagan Altar
A Minority of a Minority of a Minority
The Consort: Silent Partner or Hidden in Plain Sight?
Why I Bother With Ritual: Poetry and Eikonic Atheism
May 6th. 2015 ...
Gods, Myth, and Ritual in Naturalistic Paganism
I Claim Cronehood
13 Keys: The Crown of Kether
March 29th. 2015 ...
A Thread in the Tapestry of Witchcraft
March 28th. 2015 ...
On Wiccan Magick, Theurgy, Thaumaturgy and Setting Expectations
March 1st. 2015 ...
Choosing to Write a Shadow Book
Historiolae: The Spell Within the Story
February 1st. 2015 ...
Seeker Advice From a Coven Leader
The Three Centers of Paganism
Magick is No Illusion
The Ancient Use of God/Goddess Surnames
January 1st. 2015 ...
The Six Most Valuable Lessons I've Learned on My Path as a Witch
Manipulation of the Concept of Witchcraft
Publicly Other: Witchcraft in the Suburbs
NOTE: For a complete list of articles related to this chapter... Visit the Main Index FOR this section.
Defining the Pagan
Article ID: 13006
Age Group: Adult
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Posted: December 14th. 2008
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Being relatively new to the Pagan community, I have encountered many questions, most of which Iíve been able to answer on my own using various methods, i.e. books, web, etc. I have no ďproperĒ label, as in Iím not specifically Wiccan or Druid, etc. I usually just tell people when they ask that Iím simply Pagan, not Eclectic or any other specific title, just plain old, generic Pagan.
My belief system stems from a sense of right that I feel in regard to seeing the Deity as feminine as opposed to masculine. The idea that it is older than Christianity and more wide spread across the world is somehow comforting to me. I feel drawn to nature and the rhythms of the Earth because I was raised so far in the country.
Having been raised as a devout Catholic in a southern home, it took me years to see and embrace what I now practice as openly as I can. I use the term practice loosely (I will expound on that in a bit) . Although Pagan ideas were always a part of me, I embraced this idea and path openly 4 years ago. Being sent to Kuwait for the onslaught of what I believe to be the 8th crusade did a lot to force my eyes open and accept that freedom to worship as one chooses is a personal endeavor that should not be hampered by anything other than ones own mind.
My mother was the first person to ever hand me the idea of Fairies, elves and the like, my dad collected unicorn bookmarks, my aunt showed me my first set of runes, and my grandmotherÖÖbless her soul, she was a fantastic, superstitious, old school remedy user from way back.
I was raised deep in the country on a dirt road, so I developed a deep-seated appreciation for Mother Nature as a child. All of these things made a great foundation for my current belief system. However, as nice as it all sounds, I was still brought up in a fairly strict Catholic family. I discovered that I loved the ritual of mass, and for years after I moved out of my parentís home, I continued to go on my own. As I grew and as my faith grew, I began to slowly move away from the Christian faith and into my own.
Moving into that faith is not as easy as it soundsÖ (Here comes the ďpracticeĒ part) I live in South Louisiana. Probably the most Catholic region Iíve ever seen in the US, and of course it is in the Bible belt, so those who are not Catholic are some form of Christian. Of course there is a scattering of Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist, and various others but finding the Pagan community down here is not a simple task.
I donít know anyone personally in the covens that do exist in my town so I am reluctant to ask to join them even for a Samhain celebration. I am also reluctant simply because Iím not Wiccan. I keep the sabbats/esbats as I can although that is something I have to work at, simply because I have a hard time knowing what to doÖ.if that makes sense. Iíve not been taught or shown any ritual, and coming up with my own is somewhat difficult for me.
In my circle of friends here I have one other friend that believes as I do, our friends range from Anti-Theists, to Christian, to even a Hindu. I donít have a definition of my belief system I just know what I feel and believe to be true for myself. Iíve never been to a circle, Iíve never worn robes, and I donít wear a pentacle. I do however, wear a pendant with the image of Bridget laying gracefully in a moon, as well as a talisman of Mercury pendant because I am Gemini.
And as far as being ďout of the broom closetĒ, I am for the most part. The only people with whom Iíve not discussed my religious change are my in-laws. It would devastate my mother in law and I donít want to put her through that. Not that she believes that Catholicism is the be-all/end-all but, she is very emphatic about keeping Cajun tradition, and part of that is the church.
I take a very historic view on my faith and belief system. I seek as many facts as I can get, and pray the only way I know how. Iíve never cast a spell (that I know of) . Iíve never invoked anyone (that I know of) and I donít have an alter set upómainly because I have nowhere to put one right now. I do try to keep up with my astrology and read my Tarot as often as I feel the need. I pay attention to my intuition as itís always gotten me through, and I love my aromatherapy. I have a decent knowledge of herbs and oils, and strongly prefer homeopathy and natural medicine to the mainstream. Basically I do what I can with what Iíve got.
Which brings me to my questions. I understand that being Wiccan or Pagan of most sorts involves defending and loving Mother Nature and our environment as much as possible. But does it make me a bad Pagan or even a ďfluff bunnyĒ because I donít recycle? Or because I approve of hunting so long as the game is used as entirely as possible for food, etc.?
I donít consider myself very conservative or liberal politically, although I do tend toward the conservative for most issues. Iím not particularly fond of politics period and I donít understand what politics has to do with faith. Now, I do understand that certain peoples fight for certain freedoms and ideas, and I respect that. I just donít get why one would need to be an activist in order to be properly Pagan. Perhaps these are just personal fears of acceptance that I wouldnít be taken seriously should I ever join a group for circle or simply a discussion.
In a world of neat little labels, boxes, and definitions, would I be considered a faithful practitioner or just a wanna be?
Blessed Be ;-)
Location: Lafayette, Louisiana
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